Monday, June 25, 2018

Wildlife in my Neighborhood


I only live in a suburb about 30 minutes away from Denver, Colorado, about 23 miles away, but we are in a secluded valley nestled between hogbacks and foothills and close to all kinds of wildlife! I thought you'd like to see some of the photos I've taken along with some that my neighbors have shared on our community social media forum.


Deer are the most common animals that we see--sometimes quite a few in a herd!


The deer are fairly used to people and graze and roam around our neighborhoods at all times of the year. We don't feed them--feeding wildlife is against the law in Colorado and is not good for them. Deer have a complex digestive system that is not adapted to large amounts of grain, bird seed, bread, or many types of hay. Feeding is often unhealthy for deer. Addiction to artificial feeds often results in deer that are in poor condition. Concentrating deer by feeding can also increase stress and hasten the spread of diseases.


In spring, we look forward to the deer fawns being born. The mother doe will hide them, often near houses. Except for periods when she feeds them, she will leave them alone for a good portion of the day. Fawns are born without a scent, and by staying away from the fawn the mother is keeping them safe. Within a week or two they will be strong enough to follow her, and she will move them to different locations for their safety. Most mature deer give birth to twins and some to triplets!



A doe gave birth to twins in my next door neighbor's backyard a few weeks ago, and we took the photos above from our kitchen window. Mother deer was very alert to any sound or movement so we had to whisper and tiptoe around our kitchen for a few days.  It was fun to watch how the doe cared for her fawn so we didn't mind.


One day we came home to find one of the twins sleeping in our backyard, and the next day the family had moved on.  I hope the little guys make it to maturity!


Elk are a less common sight as more and more development takes place in surrounding areas, but every now and then one will be seen nearby. As you can see in the collage above our houses are surrounded by much open space and trails.....


....and often on the trails are snakes! Rattlesnakes like to hunt for small mice and voles along the trails, so we always have to be on the lookout for snakes. However, I've lived in our community for five years and have never seen a rattlesnake, so I hope my luck holds up. I have seen a few nonpoisonous snakes--but stayed far away from them!



Perhaps one of the most exciting sights seen in our community this spring were mountain lions! Early one morning a mother mountain lion and her three rather large kittens roamed through a neighbor's backyard and were captured on her security camera. If the video is not visible you can see it on my Mille Fiori Favoriti Facebook, at this linkThe local news picked up the video to show on its social media sites, and it caused quite a stir. We know that mountain lions live in the foothills, but they usually hunt at night and are pretty reclusive. Happily, they seemed to have settled down in a new area and there have been no further daytime sightings.


Another animal that caused quite a stir,  and had many sightings, were bobcats! They seemed to be everywhere for a few weeks this spring but now are a rare sight again.


Last summer we saw many red fox and fox kits in our neighborhood.  After watching them it is easy to see how they get a reputation for being smart and swift, and "talkative"! 


A neighbor found a weasel searching for food in her backyard. They are not a common sight and we were all thrilled to see her photos.


Raccoons also scavenge hunt in our neighborhood, but they are good at hiding. A neighbor found one hiding in her outdoor planter and another in a tree outside her home. It is hard to have a birdfeeder in our area because raccoons and squirrels will empty those birdfeeders in record time!


Another animal attracted by birdfeeders are black bears. A bear can smell food five miles away!  Sadly, if a bear gets used to going into neighborhoods for food they have to be relocated far away. They will have their ear-tagged by the Colorado Department of Wildlife, and if they are again seen among people, they are euthanized. It is just too dangerous for a bear to hunt in a populated area. In the Fall, when the bears have to eat 22,000 calories a day to bulk up for hibernation, we have to be careful to take birdfeeders down and keep our garbage inside our closed garage, so as not to attract the bears. 

Moose are rarely seen in our area, but a neighbor did spy one near some open space one morning. The moose population has been growing again in Colorado, but most are in the high country and near water sources. They love to eat willow tree leaves!

Of course, we see many different kinds of birds--bald eagles, golden eagles, hawks, owls, and more common birds like magpies. crows, robins, hummingbirds, etc, etc., and many other animals such as coyotes,  rabbits, squirrels, prairie dogs, etc.



We seem to have a happy balance in our community of wildlife coexisting with human life. Most of the time we don't see the more dangerous animals, but it certainly is interesting when we do! We just have to be aware that we need to keep our eyes on young children, small dogs, and cats, and most often during early morning hours and at dusk when most of the wildlife is active.  What kind of wildlife is common where you live? Nature is a precious gift!

"Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty."  - Albert Einstein

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48 comments:

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Thank you for your comment! I appreciate your visit to my blog and your comment will appear after my approval very shortly.

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

You do have a wonderful variety of wildlife! We had a bear destroy our birdfeeder on Christmas Eve. We thought they would be hibernating by then. So now we don't put one up. I have seen a couple of deer and a bunny.

eileeninmd said...

Hello, Pat! You do see a lot of wildlife in your neighborhood. The deer are so cute. I like the weasel, it is adorable. I would like to see the moose, Mountain Lions, Bobcats and bears. I love all the critters. Great post and photos! Happy Monday, enjoy your day and week ahead.

The French Hutch said...

Oh my goodness Pat, this is so interesting seeing all the wildlife in your area. You have everything from the gentle deer bears.I am sure it was fun watching the mother deer care for her newborn twins. I to hope they make it to maturity. I know it is beautiful there and would love to visit Colorado. Our son travels there on business and vacations there with his family. He says it is beautiful.Thanks for sharing the beautiful wildlife.
Have a wonderful week.........

Michelle said...

I knew you had wildlife in your neighborhood, but this is quite a variety! I do like the raccoon hiding in the planter. Cute, but I don't want one hiding in mine! lol

A Colorful World said...

Wow! Where to start!? :-) Of the deer, that fawn curled up by the drain spout was my favorite shot. But, you have captured so much more than the gorgeous shots of the deer! All of the photos of the wildlife were amazing! We get many mule deer where we live on Crooked River Ranch in North central Oregon as well as great jackrabbits and bunnies, horned owls (no pics yet!), raccoons (had some on the deck!), bull snakes and rattlesnakes (happy not to have seen a rattlesnake yet, but others are reporting seeing them), bobcats (no pics yet!), and cougars (heard them late at night, but no sighting!)….we don't have bears or elk. Loved seeing all of yours!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Pat, this is an amazing post ... it is as if you live in a Nature Park instead of a big city suburb. I am glad to hear about people who know how to co-exist with wildlife. We didn’t see as much of it as we usually do on our recent visit with the CO kids....had beautiful weather for a stay in Crested Butte (and sidetrips from there) but when we came back “down” to the foothills, the weather turned ... we got to experience some Colorado lightning storms! As always it was a great visit.

Tamar SB said...

Wow! That is so amazing!!

Maggie said...

Dear Pat, thank you so much sharing these wonderful photos and stories of all the amazing wildlife to be found in your *suburban* neighbourhood. Bears, fawns, raccoons, oh my! Lions and cougars, unbelievable! The wildest animal in my garden are the coypu who come for a few weeks each spring.
Happy Mosaic Monday,
Maggie

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

Wow! I'm so envious. It's like living in a deer park. Love that. You can keep the snakes - don't like them at all.

Linda said...

Oh, Pat! I love where you live! Amazing photos! Colorado is one of my favorite places in the whole world! This September, Louis Dean and I will get to spend a day or two in your state! Haven’t been been there in a few years so we are excited!

Snap said...

Wow! It's never dull and boring around your neighbor ... always a critter to see. Fun! Have a lovely week.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I like the Albert Einstein quote...we deal with a lot of wildlife here in Florida too and have to be aware of their wild nature. I love those little deer...how cute are they! And I don't think I've ever seen a weasel. HHhmmmm! Wonderful mosaics today my friend! Happy summer!

ellen b said...

Wow! You really do have some amazing wildlife in your area. Loved seeing the variety. Very good idea to not feed wildlife. Glad there's a law against it.

Kay L. Davies said...

I also like the Einstein quote.
As for all the different kinds of animals in your neck of the woods, I am amazed! Amazed and thrilled, I might add, not to mention impressed and, admittedly a little jealous.
We do have deer who come to eat our ornamental crabapples in the winter, and we love to watch them stand on their hind legs to reach the fruit higher up the tree. We have arranged our venetian blinds so that we can see them, but they can't see us. Or, if they do, they haven't said so.
Thank you for sharing all your wonderful critters!
Kay
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Candysfarmhousepantry said...

We live out in the country and see tons of wildlife. Love your pictures. Don't care for snakes but they are necessary. Found you on Grandma's Brief Link Party.

Su-sieee! Mac said...

I am so glad to see that some wildlife are able to adjust to humans in their territory. :-) The deer must like you and your family that they're so comfortable to hang out on your yard. That is cool!

Sarah said...

Wonderful shots of these amazing wild animals. You have certainly transitioned to a new environment! I so enjoy that you share all these sightings. Thanks, Pat!

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Wow, you have such a variety of critters. All we have are coyotes here in town. Eastern Oklahoma is getting black bears back. Logan and I saw an Elk in southeastern Oklahoma.

jeannettestgermain said...

It sounds like a description of the area we live in. But the fur of the deer here is shorter, and not speckled.Yeah now you say it, we have seen several twins:) The bobcat, mountain lion, and bear others have seen, or have seen evidence of, but we only (2 times) evidence of a bear.
Was a great post for All Seasons, Pat, and so happy the comment section has been resolved!! Enjoy your week:)

Ruth Hiebert said...

Seeing so much wildlife must be wonderful.Well,except for the cougars.I think I could do without them. The fawns are just so adorable.

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

My goodness, you have some interesting neighbors!

Lady Fi said...

Wow - what fabulous wildlife you enjoy!

gillena cox said...

I do not live near wild animals. But i do admire your awe and concern. Thanks for shaing your video and photos. Have a nice week

Much­čĺ×love

Jeanie said...

Wow! You practically live in the zoo with all that wildlife. And I do mean wild! I would adore the deer (so long as I took care with the garden!) or bunnies. Not so much the snakes. Definitely not the snakes! Yes, keep those pets and children under guard! But oh, it's so unbearably beautiful. I was hoping you would post about the fawn. I loved your FB posts on that. I hope they survive.

Linda W. said...

Wow, your neighborhood is a regular Wild Kingdom! Loved all the animal pics.

Rambling Woods said...

Wow Pat...you have fabulous wildlife in your neighborhood!! ..Michelle

Tom said...

...oh 'deer' and here I thought that I lived in deer country!

Pea bea said...

Great nature photos. Thanks for visiting and sharing with Pictorial Tuesday. Enjoyed your visit so I could come visit your blog. Have a great week.

Peabea from Peabea Scribbles

Angie said...

Well, Pat, you know this post is right up my alley! That is an impressive deer herd resting in that yard … I would be mighty worried for my landscaping! I just saw my first fawn of the season while I was out running today - classic Bambi - all legs!!! The mountain lion video was amazing … not just one, but four!!! We have not seen our moose lately, but we did see six elk the other day, including one baby. Awww.

By the way, I may not be commenting as often for the next few weeks since I will have my in-laws visiting from the UK. We are going to have a great time!

Sylvia said...

Pat, Wow, that is a wide variety of animals for sure. The video was cool. Thanks for sharing and have a great week. Sylvia D.

Lorrie said...

Wow, Pat, that's a lot of wildlife. I skipped right past the rattlesnake, averting my eyes as I went, but those baby fawns are so precious. We live in an urban area and there are many deer, although not on our particular street because of it's location. My garden is thankful for that. Tim and I were driving home from a party on Saturday night and a mother deer and two fawns were walking beside the road. So sweet. We have raccoons, squirrels, and the occasional cougar that comes into town.

Jann Olson said...

I love seeing wildlife! That is everything, but the rattlesnakes. :)
Thanks for sharing with SYC.
hugs,
Jann

betty-NZ said...

What a wonderful variety of visitors! It would be so great to see some of those beautiful deer.

Grammy Dee | Grammy's Grid said...

WOW! Can't imagine my yard being full of deer like that just laying there relaxing! I think I'd be afraid of the mountain lion and bear. Shared x 4 ♥

Lowcarb team member said...

My goodness … you do have a wonderful variety of wildlife in your area.
Amazing photographs, loved your collages and that video too...wow!

Stay safe

All the best Jan

Jim said...

Beautiful.

Joyful said...

Wow! You certainly have some fabulous wildlife pics. I'm amazed at the large numbers of deer in someone's property. I'd be afraid to come across the wild cats though.

italiafinlandia said...

Beautiful series!

s.c said...

Wow you have really great wildlife in your backyard. Sometimes perhaps a bit to close but of course everything need a bit space to live. Love the post.

DrillerAA09 said...

Deer and fox are very common sights in our part of the world as well cyotes. While bobcats are spotted from time to time and are one of my favorite animals. The ocassional black bear will wander into neighborhoods but they mostly stay in the woods. Great set of images.

Michelle said...

Thank you for linking up! Have a great weekend!

Spare Parts and Pics said...

That's a wonderful diversity of wildlife you have right in your backyard. My jaw dropped when I saw the mountain lion video! Out here in the CA desert, they are extremely rare. People who hike frequently will rarely see on in their lifetime, and spotting one is considered the pinnacle of luck! The closest I've come is spotting a recently killed (by a mountain lion) bighorn sheep skeleton. Thanks for sharing and great post!

rupam sarma said...

Amazing pics.

Queenbeebaker said...

How absolutely beautiful! I am a big animal lover. I would love to be able to see wildlife like this all the time. Thanks so much for sharing with us at the Whimsical Wednesdays Link Party!

Barb said...

Love seeing your wildlife photos, Pat. I think the little weasel-like animal is a pine marten. They are very secretive, and it's unusual to catch a glimpse of one. We have some in our forest and see them occasionally. They are swift climbers and leapers, like little acrobats. I'd love to see a bobcat - have never seen one in person. Hope all is well, and you're enjoying summer.

Jann Olson said...

I love seeing wildlife and you got some amazing photos! Especially love the little fawns! Thanks for sharing with SYC.
hugs,
Jann

eileeninmd said...

HI Pat, the Colorado wildlife is awesome. You can see so many critters in your yard and neighborhood. I love the sweet fawns. They are adorable. The moose, bears and wild cats are cool critters to see from a distance. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Sunday, enjoy your day and week ahead. PS, thanks for the comment.